Key Points In A Business Plan

Identifying dry cash-flow periods will let you allocate additional resources to those slow times, avoiding cash crunches that can make it hard to pay your bills. Cash flow is different from profitability (the amount of money left after subtracting expenses from revenue).

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And be sure the plan realistically identifies opportunities and obstacles, with a strong focus on the latter.

Below are three areas of a business plan that need special attention.

Handling them wisely will strengthen your business from the outset and uncover issues that could cause problems down the road.

The Management Team “One of my mentors used to tell his business school classes there are three things we invest in: Team, team and team,” says Eric Chin, general partner at Crosslink Capital in San Francisco, an investor in early-stage businesses.

A business plan can take many forms, depending on the venture.

A four-person management consulting firm may produce a leaner plan focused on service expertise and industry experience compared to a 20-employee widget maker, which would also have to describe products, manufacturing techniques, competitive forces and marketing needs, among other details.It’s a good idea to share your executive summary with someone objective, like your accountant or a business mentor.That way, you'll be sure it's fully understandable and sensible when you show it to a potential lender or investor.If you have a complete set of financial statements and projections, your business plan can identify all of these potential trouble spots before you launch.At a minimum, your business plan should have best- and worst-case scenarios in four key areas: Operating budget.List your business’s day-to-day operating expenses — rent, salaries, supplies, insurance, telephone, Internet and the like — and the income that you’ll need to offset them.If the expenses are too high, you’ll see that right away and can work on reducing overhead.A strong management team with a mediocre idea is more attractive to many investors than a weak management team with a great idea.When writing your business plan, dissect your previous experience as if you were the investor.If you have partners, outline which areas of responsibility each of you will undertake as well as the experience that each of you brings to the venture.In doing this, you’ll uncover any weaknesses in yourself or your management team.

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